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Computer-Virus Woes

Wow, am I having computer distress! Starting yesterday about 11am, I started getting huge numbers of emails with virus attachments. At first, my virus checker did not recognize them as viruses, but thankfully I’m very skeptical of any attachments unless someone told me ahead of time they were sending one. I don’t open personal attachments as a general rule, only business ones. When loved ones send me a birthday card attachment, I write back and thank them for being so thoughtful (after all, the intent was to send me love and I recognize that) but I don’t actually view the attachment. Call me over-cautious, but clearly other people are not, or these viruses would not spread the way they do.

Today’s viruses arrive as either screen savers or .zip files for the most part. The subject line is often “Hello” or “Hi” or something that sounds like an error message… or no subject at all. Since yesterday at 11am I have received approximately 250-300 of them. It has taken me about 45 minutes so far this morning to check my email (241 messages) and it is not done downloading yet, I still have about 50 to go. I have to sit here and say OK to the virus checker every few seconds, a real hassle.

Not only that, but the viruses filled up my inbox and my legitimate email was bouncing back as undeliverable. This is not good at all for someone like me, who uses email to do business, to make a living. I last checked my email sometime after 11pm last night and by 9am this morning my mail was bouncing due to a mailbox full of viruses. I’m not a happy camper.

So… if it didn’t hit you yet, suspect every attachment you get. It doesn’t matter if it looks like it came from someone you know. Some of my viruses looked like they came from me, and some were from bogus addresses at my own purpletree.com domain… there is no such thing as bill@purpletree.com but I got a virus that said it was from that address. One said it came from an old friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. These things are smart. Do be careful. It costs a lot to have someone clean up your machine once you get hit!

This morning the weather was so bad that all the local schools are closed. I was supposed to have a meeting this morning with Marlene, to fold and staple and mail out our Working Women Artists newsletter. We thought better of it and will try again tomorrow. That means I get more time at home today. If I can stand to go down in that barely-heated basement, maybe I can start preparing to dye some wool again. My stock is getting low.

Stay warm, and please protect yourself against email viruses, OK?

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